Green Building News

Fire Tests for Cross-Laminated Timber

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Tests at a federal laboratory suggest that cross-laminated timber (CLT) components used in a multi-story apartment building would perform well in the event of a fire.

Startup Cites Gains in Ground-Source Heat Pump Design

Posted on July 20, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A tech startup that began as a "moonshot" project at Google X has raised $2 million in seed money as it promotes a more affordable type of ground-source heat pumpHome heating and cooling system that relies on the mass of the earth as the heat source and heat sink. Temperatures underground are relatively constant. Using a ground-source heat pump, heat from fluid circulated through an underground loop is transferred to and/or from the home through a heat exchanger. The energy performance of ground-source heat pumps is usually better than that of air-source heat pumps; ground-source heat pumps also perform better over a wider range of above-ground temperatures..

Details about the system developed by Dandelion were skimpy. The company says that it has developed "clean drilling technology" that will be much less disruptive to property than the current practice of drilling wells or excavating deep trenches for the heat exchange tubing the systems need.

When High-Performance Homes Don’t Sell

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Five years ago, Brackett Estates was a net-zero community in Wells, Maine, that existed mostly inside the head of builder Jesse Ware. He and his business partners had a single house, a two-story modular packed with insulation and powered by rooftop solar panels — and a plan to build 25 more of them for a new generation of homebuyers who wanted green, energy-efficient housing.

Green Label Gives Texas Homes a Boost

Posted on July 13, 2017 by Scott Gibson

A new study examined 3,800 green-certified homes built in Texas between 2008 and 2016 and determined that green certification was worth a 6% boost in resale value. Certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. ) program gave single-family houses in the Texas market an added 8% in value.

Lobbying Helps Slow the Growth of Rooftop Solar

Posted on July 11, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The number of rooftop photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) installations has increased dramatically in recent years, but growth is slowing under the weight of market saturation in places like California, financial problems on the part of several solar panel makers, and well-organized lobbying campaigns by the nation's investor-owned utilities, The New York Times reports.

U.S. Panel Maker Joins Solar Competition in China

Posted on July 7, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Ecocor, the Maine-based maker of high-performance structural panels, is going to China.

The company says it has signed on as the industry partner for Team MTL, a group of students from McGill University and Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, that's entering the Solar Decathlon China competition next year.

U.S. Adds Tariffs on Canadian Softwood

Posted on July 3, 2017 by Scott Gibson

The U.S. Commerce Department has announced new tariffs on Canadian softwood, the second set of duties imposed since April.

The Hill reports that the preliminary anti-dumping duties are as much as 7.7%. This is in addition to the department's imposition of countervailing duties of between 3% and 24% on Canadian lumber imports, announced in April.

High-Performance Builders See Gains Ahead with Panelized Construction

Posted on June 30, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Two New England design/build firms are increasing their commitment to high-end panelized designs, betting that homebuyers will be increasingly interested in well-executed, energy-efficient homes at less than custom prices.

Maine-based GO Logic, known for high-performance houses in a contemporary New England architectural style, has launched a line of panelized houses called GO Home, along with a new website that makes it easier for buyers to pick layouts, finishes, and features.

A Passive House Door for Pets

Posted on June 28, 2017 by Scott Gibson

Typical pet doors are verboten in a Passive House. Most pet door are convenient for a dog or cat, but are way too leaky to keep out the drafts.

Treehugger's Lloyd Alter came across a solution at the 21st International Passivhaus Conference in Vienna and posted this report about the PetWalk, a vault-like, insulated door that won't mess up a blower-door test and still lets the family pet come and go at will.

Vermont Utility Makes (Another) Efficiency Offer

Posted on June 22, 2017 by Scott Gibson

On the heels of offering customers a deal on Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries and deep discounts on Leaf electric vehicles, Green Mountain Power is rolling out a new plan aimed at saving customers money and reducing loads on the grid.

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